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Kids in Lancaster County gather at school to watch lunar eclipse

Susan Notes:

I sure hope teacher excellence evaluators were on hand with video tapes so this even can be entered into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Excellence archives.

This is an example of what good teachers are made of.

by Michael Gorsegner Staff reporter

Where we you at 2:15 this morning? For a group of kids at Martin Elementary School in Lancaster County, they were at school taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime event. The first winter solstice lunar eclipse in nearly 400 years.

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth casts a shadow over the moon. Rather then letting this history ass the students by, a group of them gathered on the playground to watch astronomy in action.

With eyes pointed skyward, parents and kids from Martin Elementary School in Lancaster County get a glimpse of a rare occurrence, a lunar eclipse.

"I thought a little bit of people would come out here because it's two in the morning," said fourth grader Aniyah Pelt.

Pelt dragged her father and brother out of bed to watch astronomy unfold. The best viewing time was between 2 and 3 am. Rather then sleep through it, teachers organized a viewing party to take in the site.

"Little did we know it would be this early in the morning. Its beyond your comprehension a lot of times and you have to use your imagination a lot," said Martin Elementary School teacher Kathy Housley.

"I was really surprised. I didn't think it was going to be this many people," said father Desmond Pelt.

A hearty group of about 50 parents, students and faculty flooded the playground. Armed with telescopes, blankets and even a fire, they watched as the earth casted a shadow over the moon. This eclipse was especially historic. It was the first lunar eclipse on the winter solstice since 1638.

"We were thinking that the Native Americans were the ones who saw it here last time on the winter solstice," Housley said.

"Crazy, think it was crazy," said third grader

Crazy, educational and a chance to bring the family together. Damaris holland and her kids took in a piece of history hoping the memories will last a lifetime.

"They can talk about it even when they get older. They can say, I was there that year and they can talk about it when they have kids," said Damaris Holland.

For all of you astronomy buffs, the next lunar eclipse won't be visible in North America until April of 2014. As for the next lunar eclipse on the winter solstice, mark your calendars for December 21, 2094.

— Michael Gorsegner
WPMT TV--Fox News



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